At Home With The I ♥ Tyler Madison Co-Owners
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
Sisters Charna and Jacqueline are the talent behind the Montreal-based line I ♥ Tyler Madison. With a fresh perspective rooted in self love, self worth, and self respect, their clothes embrace and celebrate different body shapes, and they’re also using their brand to support another passion: animal rescue. We met the designers at Jacqueline’s home to talk confidence, style, and supporting animal charities. Read on to get to know this stylish pair and learn the inspiration behind their brand’s namesake.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
C: I’m a working mom with a love for business. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had an affinity for numbers, checks and balances- but dislike anything mundane and repetitive. I love that our days at the office are different- every day – that’s what makes this business so exciting. Depending on the week we could be choosing fabrics, creating styles, planning the next collection, strategizing social media and online web campaigns, supporting our boutiques and sales representatives. Of course there is also the balancing act of making sure we have enough inventory but not too much. We are constantly learning and growing- and LOVE what we are doing.
J: I’m 34 and a new mom to an amazing little girl.
I studied fashion design but ended up doing my undergrad in psychology. It comes in handy as we strive to create garments that help foster positive body image. Trying on pants can be a daunting and overwhelming task, that’s why we created an entire line around the concept of pull-on pants. (Basically the comfort of a legging but the look of actual constructed pants )
There is no top button that is too tight for anyone here! So no matter what shape or size, our pants will fit.
How did you decide to go into fashion? Can you let our readers know how the name of your label ties into your love of rescue dogs?
C: Our line is named for our 2 dogs: Tyler and Madison…what better way to recognize our 2 fur babies who have brought so much unconditional love into our lives…
J: We wanted to create a fashion line that gave back. So we knew from the start we would partner with different animal shelters. I had jokingly said to Charna once how Maddie would stare at me getting dressed in the morning with such admiration that if only I saw myself like that every day would be a lot easier!
Please tell us a bit about your dogs. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind the names or particular breeds?
J: When I was 21 I had decided to go and rescue a dog. I set out to find an older dog but the first pup I spotted at the Montreal SPCA was this tiny little black fluff ball. She was so small and dark in that big cage you could barely see her. I took her out of her cage, she peed all over me and the rest was history.
C: When I was 26 years old, just out of a long term relationship and living on my own I knew it was time to share my life. I wanted that unconditional love that only a fur baby can bring you and on November 18th 2006 Tyler, came home with me. He is so full of love, life and energy- he literally is what keeps us all going.
We understand you have kind hearts for animal charities. Can you tell us a bit about Paw It Forward?
J: Since I was a little girl I always felt this connection to animals. I had wanted to do my part for each and every voiceless animal on this planet so I try and give back in small ways to different animal rights organizations. The Paw It Forward link on our website takes you to a page where we have our top charities listed. We hope to inspire our customers to give back or even just visit the different websites and see what they are all about.
How would you each describe your personal style?
J: I have loved fashion since I was a little girl, and my personal style changes constantly. I would describe my sense of style as eclectic. I love mixing and matching different pieces and experimenting with new trends. The most important thing to me about personal style is dressing for yourself; it’s all about finding outfits that help boost your self-esteem.
C: I’m more of the classic, simple type…I could honestly wear a white tank top and simple pants (ours of course) every day as if it was a uniform. I just want to be comfortable and confident.
How does that translate into the look and feel of your home / living spaces?
J: You can definitely see my personal taste in my home. I have massive animal prints everywhere, one would think I work as a freelance photographer for national geographic. The first thing you actually see when you walk into my house is an oversized framed photograph of Brigitte Bardot. I admire her so much for all her work with animals and she’s absolutely beautiful to boot.
C: My house is very modern, straight clean lines with metal, wood and glass accents. I do have plexi glass pictures of my family that brings in color but on the whole I guess you could say “very monochromatic”.
How do you think style influences a person’s day to day life? What message do you want your pieces to convey and how do you want people to feel in your clothes?
J: Feeling good about yourself has a tremendous impact on your day-to-day life. Confidence can be easily boosted through clothes. When you find an outfit that flatters your body and makes you feel good your mood is automatically changed. Our pants are all pull-on for a reason; they are comfortable and flattering. Once you try our pants on and see how well they fit, completing the rest of your outfit is a no-brainer.
C: Totally agree with Jack. If you are comfortable, you will feel confident…if you’re feeling confidant your mood is automatically improved – and we design all our styles with this in mind!
What are some items every dog owner should have in their wardrobe this Spring / Summer?
J: Our nylon faux trouser cause it has pockets. Every dog owner needs pants with pockets in the spring because it’s the perfect place to store poop bags!!!!
What does your ideal weekend look like?
J: Hanging out in pj’s and playing with my one year old daughter….and checking emails. Lots of emails. Fashion never sleeps.
C: I would love to say quiet but I bet I would be bored and wouldn’t know what to do with myself- lol. I love being home with family-there’s nothing else like it.
What inspires you?
J: Sounds cheesy, but kindness. Just trying to be a kind human, in every aspect of my life. Weaving this kindness into our brand by not using animal products for instance, to buying local produce, not eating animals and simply paying it forward daily in any way I can.
C: constantly striving to be better, nicer, kinder, more generous, honest and humble. To be someone that my kids can look up to and be proud of.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about one of your pets?
My story is way too difficult to translate into words….one needs to actually see it. My dog loved gum. Maddie would chew it for hours… you need to go on our FB page and watch a little clip I uploaded. She’s too funny. And I would ask her to spit it out and she would gladly obey